Now that we know how to perform queries with .getByX methods, it is time for us to move on to the other query method variants. RTL has two other categories of query methods called .queryByX and .findByX.

Look at the code below. It shows the code for a simple component that renders a header with the text 'Hello World!' and then changes the text to 'Goodbye!' 500ms after the user clicks a button. We will be using this App component to demonstrate the different query types.

import { useState } from 'react'; const App = () => { const [text, setText] = useState('Hello World!'); // Changes header text after interval of 500ms const handleClick = () => { setTimeout(() => { setText('Goodbye!'); }, 500); }; return ( <div> <h1>{text}</h1> <button onClick={handleClick}>click me</button> </div> ) }; export default App;

Let’s start with the .queryByX variants. The .queryByX methods return null if they don’t find a DOM node, unlike the .getByX methods which throw an error and immediately cause the test to fail. This is useful when asserting that an element is NOT present in the DOM.

In this example, we want to confirm that the header does not (yet) contain the text 'Goodbye':

import App from './components/App'; import { render, screen } from '@testing-library/react'; test('Header should not show Goodbye yet', () => { // Render App render(<App />); // Attempt to extract the header element const header = screen.queryByText('Goodbye!'); // Assert null as we have not clicked the button expect(header).toBeNull(); });

By using the .queryByText(), variant when there is no element with the text 'Goodbye!', the value null is returned and we can successfully validate this with expect(header).toBeNull(). If the .getByText() method were used instead, the test would fail immediately due to the error rather than continuing on to the expect() assertion.

Next, let’s discuss the .findByX variants. The .findByX methods are used to query for asynchronous elements which will eventually appear in the DOM. For example, if the user is waiting for the result of an API call to resolve before data is displayed. The .findByX methods work by returning a Promise which resolves when the queried element renders in the DOM. As such, the async/await keywords can be used to enable asynchronous logic.

In this example, we want to confirm that the header will display the text 'Goodbye' after the button is clicked. This example uses the userEvent library, which will be covered in depth in the next exercise, to simulate clicking on the button.

import App from './components/App'; import { render, screen } from '@testing-library/react'; test('should show text content as Goodbye', async () => { // Render App render(<App />); // Extract button node const button = screen.getByRole('button'); // click button userEvent.click(button); // Wait for the text 'Goodbye!' to appear const header = await screen.findByText('Goodbye!'); // Assert header to exist in the DOM expect(header).toBeInTheDocument(); });

In the example above we use .findByText() since the 'Goodbye!' message does not render immediately. This is because our handleClick() function changes the text after an interval of 500ms. So, we have to wait a bit before the new text is rendered in the DOM.

Observe the async and await keywords in the example above. Remember that findBy methods return a Promise and thus the callback function that carries out the unit test must be identified as async while the screen.findByText() method must be preceded by await.

Note: Before you start the instructions, go to the AddThoughtForm.js file and observe the handleSubmit() function. For just this exercise, we’ve modified this function slightly with a setTimeout(), so that the thoughts get added asynchronously. Go ahead and post a thought in the App. Notice how there is a slight lag when the thought gets posted after you click the Add button.



Suppose we wish to post a new thought with the text content 'Oreos are delicious'. Before we do that though, we want to make sure that this thought isn’t already in our list of thoughts.

In the first test of Thought.test.js, use the .queryByText() method and search for a thought with the text content 'Oreos are delicious'. Assign the result of your query to a variable called emptyThought.


In the first test of Thought.test.js, use an appropriate assertion to check if the result of your query is null.

To confirm that you did this properly, run npm test in the terminal. The first test should pass!


The second test of the Thought.test.js file mimics a user posting a thought with the text content 'Oreos are delicious' using the userEvent library (we’ll cover how you can do this in the next exercise!).

Below, we use the .getByText() method to assert that the thought is present in the DOM. However, since the thought is getting posted asynchronously, .getByText() is unable to retrieve it and the test is failing (confirm for yourself by running npm test).

Replace the .getByText() method with a call to the appropriate query variant such that the test waits for the element with the text 'Oreos are delicious' to appear.


Run npm test in your terminal

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